Bradford looks forward to return to Philly with Vikings

Sam Bradford is thinking more about reconnecting with old friends than sticking it to the Philadelphia Eagles team that traded him eight days before the NFL season opened.

The quarterback returns to Philadelphia for the first time since his abrupt departure when he leads the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

"I really developed some close bonds with those guys," Bradford said. "When you spend so much time with the guys in the building and you put the time in to build those relationships on and off the field and then it just comes to an end without really having a chance to say goodbye or to go out on the field one last time to play with those guys, there's always a little part of you that you're a little down about that."

Bradford has thrived in Minnesota (5-0) after taking a crash course in yet another new offense " he's playing for his sixth offensive coordinator in seven seasons. Bradford leads the NFL with a 70.4 percent completion rate, and has taken 249 snaps without a turnover.

But he still has found time to keep a close eye on the Eagles and the guy who replaced him, rookie No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz.

"I enjoy watching them play and I enjoy watching them have success," Bradford said. "I've tried to watch as much as possible. From what Carson has done ... it really doesn't surprise me."

Wentz started fast but the Eagles (3-2) have lost two in a row " both on the road " following an early bye. Though he has exceeded expectations so far, Wentz has also shown his inexperience.

The Seattle Seahawks go to division rival Arizona, where a victory will give them solid control of the NFC West. Their offense has been hit or miss with a revamped offensive line and trying to find a running game (where are you, Beast Mode?). But the defense has been primed, ranking first overall.

The Cardinals have lost all three home games against Seattle under Bruce Arians, outscored 105-34.

"It doesn't matter if it's on the road or at home, we've got to beat them," Arians says. "If we're going to win the division, we've got to beat them."

New England's visit to Pittsburgh looked spicy until Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger damaged his knee, and suddenly this takes on the look of another Patriots romp " particularly if the Steel Curtain that was ripped apart by Miami doesn't mend itself very quickly.

"Not to say we weren't focused last week, but losing the game the way we did, in the fashion that we did, kind of opened people's eyes and let them know that you can get beat on any given week, no matter the team you're playing," said Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who will really need to step up with Roethlisberger sidelined.

The backstory makes Houston's visit to Denver on Monday interesting. Brock Osweiler, expected to replace the retired Peyton Manning as Broncos quarterback, instead went to the Texans for $72 million. He returns to the Mile High City, where he shouldn't expect a kind reception from the fans.

Nor from the Broncos, who are in a nasty mood after dropping two straight games. They still have a defense that can be dominant, and the Texans have been among the most inconsistent teams in the league, despite their 4-2 win-loss record.

With J.J. Watt gone for the season, Houston is getting solid work from 2014 top overall pick and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who's tied for the NFL lead with eight tackles for loss.

The action began on Thursday when Aaron Rodgers threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns in Green Bay's 26-10 home victory over Chicago. Rodgers was 39 of 56, setting a franchise record for completions in a game. The Bears lost quarterback Brian Hoyer to a broken left arm in the second quarter. With Jay Cutler already out with a right thumb injury, Chicago turned to third-stringer Matt Barkley.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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